We were so overwhelmed by the amount and quality of the entries to our Christmas poetry competition that it was very hard to choose winners… so hard in fact that we decided to have 4 runners-up instead of 2! Each poem had something really great about it, whether that was expert rhyming, an ingenious metaphor or a great sense of humour. Thank you all for sharing your wonderful poems with us, and for making us feel incredibly festive in the run-up to Christmas!
Our favourite poem in the 13+ category had a lovely central simile which was brilliantly described by the writer, Alicia Green, and conjures the Christmas atmosphere perfectly. The three lucky winners will each receive a £25 National Book Token gift card in a special festive design. You can read Alicia’s poem and the runners-up below, the 5-8 winners here and the 9-12 winners here.
Alicia Green’s Christmas poem
Tonight a present sits,
Protected under branched arms,
Gently reaching out,
Drenched in bracelets of tinsel.
The present waits,
Under soft wrapping
Like a sleeping child
Enveloped in a warm duvet,
Covering him like a snow blanket.
Soon the wrapping will be torn away,
Like the blanket of the child,
Who awakens this Christmas day.
A delicate shower of snow
Sits on every branch,
The cool winter air
Leaves her in a trance
And so, she flies away,
Leaving a whisper on the wind
While I gaze out of my window
On this Christmas Day
Every year this face, the same face,
Differently surprised, expectant and jealous;
The craving for the sibling’s jumper.
Every year this family, the same family,
Differently gathered, here and there;
The children passed around from house to house.
One day they’ll know, they’ll understand
That though the times change, the memories remain
Captured in the ceremony of the annual photograph.
A Helping Hand by Emilia Brooks
My red-glazed chest puffs out in the crisp air
Like the dangling bauble berries on the tree.
A chorus singer, I sweetly sing and silently see
Inside at the warmth, laughter, food.
I perch on the sugar-laced branch
Gazing beadily, hungrily through the looking glass
At the reflection of me, paper printed, on the mantelpiece,
Above the glowing fire, a contrast to the white out here.
They are all around the table now, plate upon piled plate
But they look up. Eye meets eye and they return to the present.
They glide out like a stream train on a frosty morning and bring
A gift; peanuts, seeds, apples – My nut roast on a Christmas morning.
Cold warmth by Tom Piccolo
Listen, the wind blows in soft peckings against the frosty window, howling as I tuck myself under the covers.
I clasp the corner of the curtain and peel away the thin, cream fabric to reveal a new world:
The sun sprays its first shatter of golden light onto the bundled snow, lying in woollen clumps.
My heart pounds with tremendous excitement as a warm syrup of joy flows within me.
I am immersed in carols; mellow chorus notes encompass me within pews as they swim placid,
They flow among the other scents of rum and rich perfumed candle smoke which clog the air.
The midday sun pours abundant light through biblical scenes woven onto coloured glass on church walls,
The singing stops as benevolence bobs through the air on warm breath exchanged between all.
The wood lights with a small flicker of enkindling light from the small dainty fathoms of matchstick,
The fireplace emanates humble heat; I hold my mother’s hand as the flames dance in our pupils,
The next thing I know my eyes are heavy and my head is laid on the soft sofa’s fabric,
Blanketed, cosy, turkey-full stomach; warm hot chocolate fumes drift into my nose as I sleep.